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Utah Health Exchange to assist residents compare, purchase health insurance

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The Utah Health Exchange, a Web site where individuals and businesses can compare and buy health plans, is going live Aug. 19.

The Utah Health Exchange was created by HB 188. Two of the main provisions of the bill are the creation of the Utah NetCare Plan, a low cost health benefit plan as an alternative to current federal COBRA, state mini-COBRA, and conversion products, and of an Internet Portal to facilitate the purchase of health benefit plans for employer groups. The Utah Health Exchange will begin offering plans to small employer groups in August 2009 for plans effective January 2010. Large employer groups will gain access in fall 2011 for plans available 2012. The portal will also allow the pooling of several employer contributions to one employee’s plan. Another provision of the law allows insurers to offer lower cost plans free of certain state mandates. .

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